Delaware Senate Unanimously Approves Marijuana Expungement Measure

Legislation to provide mandatory expungement eligibility to those convicted of certain marijuana offenses has been passed by Delaware’s full Senate.

Senate Bill 197 was passed yesterday by Delaware’s Senate in a unanimous 20 to 0 vote, with one member abstaining. According to the measure’s synopsis, “This Act provides mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession, use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses.” To be eligible for the mandatory expungement, “the marijuana conviction must be the applicant’s only criminal conviction.”

The legislation was introduced by Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle (R), and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D). It will now go to the House of Represenatives, where passage would send it to John Carney for consideration.

Read moreDelaware Senate Unanimously Approves Marijuana Expungement Measure

California Bill Would Automatically Expunge Past Marijuana Convictions

California Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has introduced legislation that would require county courts to automatically expunge the records of those who have been charged with a marijuana-related crime that’s since been legalized, reports Kathleen Ronayne of the Associated Press.

In 2016 California voters approved the ability to wipe criminal marijuana conviction records as a provision in the legalization initiative Proposition 64. However, the existing law requires people with convictions to initiate the process themselves, but many people don’t (often because they don’t know they can, as the option has received little publicity) For some, the process is simply to complicated and costly. Although roughly 5,000 people have applied for an expungement as of 2017, it’s only a small portion of the total number of people eligible.

The proposed law would change this, requiring that these eligible charges be expunged from people’s records automatically. This would remove the requirement that an individual themselves seek an expungement. According to Bonta, the proposal would “give folks who deserve it under the law the fresh start they’re entitled to”.

Read moreCalifornia Bill Would Automatically Expunge Past Marijuana Convictions

Maryland House Passes Marijuana Expungement Bill, Companion Measure Already Passed Senate

Legislation allowing for the expungement (removal from record) of certain marijuana possession offenses has been passed by Maryland’s full House of Representatives.

House Bill 379 was passed by the House with a 104 to 32 vote. A companion measure, Senate Bill 949, was given approval by the Senate last week with a unanimous 47 to 0 vote.

According to its official synopsis, House Bill 379 allows a person “to file a petition for expungement if the person was convicted of possession of marijuana before October 1, 2014. The proposal requires “that filing fees for petitions for expungement collected by the District Court be remitted to the Administrative Office of the Court be used only for a specified purpose.”

Read moreMaryland House Passes Marijuana Expungement Bill, Companion Measure Already Passed Senate

Oregon: 50,000 Residents Qualify To Have Cannabis Offenses Removed From Their Criminal Record

By Monterey Bud, Marijuana.com

Thanks to the recent implementation of a novel provision in Oregon’s Senate Bill 844, more than 50,000 residents can now apply to a new program that permits some offenders to expunge marijuana-related crimes from their criminal history.

pastThat’s right, according to the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Beaver State’s sweet new piece of legislation allows those with past marijuana-related indiscretions – including cultivation and distribution – to have their past improprieties purged from their permanent criminal record. Thereby making it easier for those convicted of past marijuana related crimes to find gainful employment.

Read moreOregon: 50,000 Residents Qualify To Have Cannabis Offenses Removed From Their Criminal Record

Federal Cannabis Expungement Bill Introduced in U.S. Congress

Marijuana-plant--007Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has introduced The Clean Slate for Marijuana Offenses Act of 2015, a proposal that creates a pathway for the following two groups of federal cannabis offenders to have their charges expunged (removed) from their criminal record: those who were federally charged for activity that was state legal at the time; and those whose offense was the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis.

“The penalties of failed prohibition policies should stop ruining people’s lives. The Clean Slate for Marijuana Offenses Act of 2015 follows Oregon’s lead to provide a pathway for expunging certain federal marijuana crimes,” said Representative Blumenauer in a press release. “People who were caught up in the federal criminal justice system for a marijuana offense that was legal under state law at the time should not carry around a drug record. I support legalizing marijuana at the federal level to put a stop to any state-federal conflicts once and for all, but it is also important that we create pathways for expungement for those who should never have been charged in the first place.”

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Jamaica’s Justice Minister Signs Automatic Cannabis Expungement Bill

jamaicaJust three months after Jamaica decriminalized the possession and personal cultivation of recreational cannabis, Justice Minister Mark Golding has signed into law an order that allows for the automatic expungement of certain cannabis convictions.

The Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Automatic Expungement of Convictions) Order 2015 automatically expunges past cannabis convictions where the fine did not exceed J$1,000, and for charges involving the possession of cannabis paraphernalia, once a person applies for a certificate of their police record.

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Ohio Ballot Board Gives Approval to Cannabis Expungement Initiative

ohioIn a 3 to 2 vote, the Ohio Ballot Board has given approval to the Fresh Start Act, a proposal meant to work in conjunction with an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis that’s on this November’s ballot.

The measure, put forth by ResponsibleOhio (the same group sponsoring the legalization initiative), would allow anyone who committed a crime that’s made legal to have the charge expunged (removed) from their record.

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Ohio: Enough Signatures Collected on Cannabis Expungement Initiative to Receive Approval from Attorney General

ohiojointThe Ohio Attorney General’s Office on Monday certified an initiative to allow for the expungement of cannabis convictions that have been made legal since the crimes were committed.

The Fresh Start Act, put forth by ResponsibleOhio, is meant to work in conjunction with the group’s initiative to legalize cannabis, which will be voted on this November. If that initiative is approved into law, and the Fresh Start Act is subsequently approved, anyone who committed a crime that’s made legal the first initiative would be allowed to have the charge expunged (removed) from their record.

Read moreOhio: Enough Signatures Collected on Cannabis Expungement Initiative to Receive Approval from Attorney General

Oregon Governor Signs Cannabis Reform Bill

purple Governor Kate Brown has signed House Bill 3400 into law, a comprehensive measure to implement Measure 91, in addition to reforming the state’s cannabis laws by removing most felony charges and allowing for expungements

In addition to addressing the implementation of Measure 91, which legalized cannabis possess and cultivation on July 1st (with retail outlets expected to open next year), House Bill 3400 contains broad sentencing reform provisions that includes reducing most cannabis felonies to misdemeanors or lesser felonies with significantly reduced sentences.

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Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungements, Passes Louisiana Legislature, Heads to Governor

brightbudsLouisiana’s House of Representatives has passed House Bill 149, a proposal to drastically reduce the penalties for cannabis possession while allowing for the expungement of certain cannabis convictions, with a 74 to 19 vote. The vote comes just days after the Senate passed the measure 54 to 37. It now heads to Governor Bobby Jindal, who plans to sign it into law.

House Bill 149, sponsored by Representative Austin Badon, will reduce the penalty for possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis from a potential six month jail sentence, to a maximum jail sentence of 15 days. The penalty for a second cannabis possession offense – any amount not deemed for distribution – would be reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of six months; it’s currently a felony with a potential five year prison sentence.

Read moreBill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungements, Passes Louisiana Legislature, Heads to Governor